Tuesday, July 8, 2014


"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord," writes the Holy Apostle.  This is so because according to its very definition, sin is any thought, word, deed or desire that separates us from God--and God is the one and only Source of life.  It stands to reason, then, that apart from God, we are truly dead spiritually--nothing but walking corpses--though we may enjoy the very best of physical health.

There is a lot of emphasis nowadays on healthy living--with the emphasis on good food and exercise--and this is good, considering that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  Nevertheless, how are we profited by good health if we shall in the end be cast into that place of outer darkness, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth?  Repent, therefore, while there is still time, and turn from the darkness of this world to the light of Christ, who alone can grant us the gift of eternal life.

Now there are various definitions of sin prevalent in today's world.  Some only consider it to be an act that directly causes harm to another.  Others regard it  merely as "breaking the rules" decreed by God, as when we violate the laws of the land and are sentenced by the judge to a term of imprisonment or the payment of a fine.  But as St. John the Evangelist affirms, God is love--not some sort of vengeful judge who demands satisfaction for our wrongdoing and delights in casting sinners into hell.

Indeed, God does not desire the death of any man, but rather that he turn from his evil ways and live.  He created us out of love and for love, and so--as St. Augustine taught--"Our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in Thee."  No matter how sinful we may be, God will never reject us--it is we ourselves who reject Him, thoughtlessly spurning the gift of love He desires to bestow upon us.

The centurion in the Gospel who approached Jesus for the healing of his servant knew that he was not worthy that the Lord should come under the roof of his house, but he was nevertheless convinced that our Lord possessed the power and authority to fulfill his petition.  And so--if we are humble like the centurion and strive always (however inadequately) to nurture the love of God in our hearts, He will surely grant to us healing of soul and body and all things whatsoever needful for salvation.

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